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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Gern Roy Acuff (27) RE: Roy Acuff 12 Oct 02

If that's "all you know," it's not enough. Acuff was the first true singing star of the Opry, and an impressive showman with 60-some years experience. His Smokey Mountain Boys were a virtual circus of hillbilly music, combining cornball with authenticity old-time music. Thruout the changes in commercial country music, Acuff's act remained primarily acoustic and focused on traditional ballads he learned in Union County, Tennessee. Notable long-time bandmembers included greats like Brother Oswald on dobro and harmony, Howdy Forrester on fiddle and Jimmy Riddle on harmonica. Originally a fiddler, Acuff developed a heartfelt, emotional singing style that became the stereotype of old-time country. He wrote classics like "The Precious Jewel" and recorded the memorable versions of timeless country tunes like "Wabash Cannonball," "The Great Speckled Bird," "Pins and Needles," "Low and Lonely, "Freight Train Blues," "Don't Make Me Go to Bed and I'll be Good" and way too many others to list. Outraged by a governor's disparaging remark about "hillbillies" on the Opry, Acuff ran for governor of Tennessee in the 40s and nearly won. Japanese soldiers reportedly hit the Pacific beaches in WWII with rallying cries of "To hell with Babe Ruth; to hell with Roy Acuff." This man was part of the bedrock of American traditional music, and deserves to be remembered for more than his purported personality quirks.

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